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New Long Distance Grandmother

(12 Posts)
Sema Sun 29-Mar-15 22:45:53

Hello All,

I just recently relocated from New York to North Carolina on March 2nd! I left behind my three children (27,25 and 21) 6 year old Grand Son and my 21 year old is due with my Granddaughter in May. I feel like I'm going through a grieving process because I miss them so much. How do you get through this transition and become adjusted to not being around family?

nannieroz111 Sun 29-Mar-15 22:57:54

Hello Sema welcome to GransNet. I hope you will spend some time chatting to the friendly GNetters who will help alleviate your loneliness.

Coolgran65 Mon 30-Mar-15 00:47:22

sema I live in UK and my grandson of 18 months lives on west coast USA. I spent two weeks with him at 8 months.. Weekly Skype time helps where my son sets his camera on one side of the room while we yarn and dgs plays about. I sing baa baa black sheep and he looks and laughs, and peers into his dad's monitor....obviously wondering who it is that cannot sing. Grandad plays boo with him. Most of the time dgs is just pottering.

Big birthday and Xmas gifts can be ordered via Amazon.
I try to keep more personal gifts very lightweight.

I send random tiny gifts with a very brief little letter addressed to dgs. Just a book or colouring pencils. This helps me feel closer.
Last week I posted a noisy book and a little choc Easter egg in an egg cup, for Easter. Only £6, but cost £13 to post.

Hopefully as my dgs gets older he can gradually participate in the Skype. But it's all about keeping our voices and images alive in his memory and letting us see his early steps and his early play.

This is how you get to know your new little granddaughter when she arrives.
Nothing can replace real life but it goes some way.

Happily your dgs , at 6 years, will be able to chat with you. But don't expect his full attention.

As for the grieving's a time thing. It's knowing that you are close in spirit. Without coming across as needy.
I often remind myself that I am not as important in their lives, as they are in mine. As it should be.
Heartache will ease.

Marmight Mon 30-Mar-15 01:43:59

There are a number of threads on this subject Sema. Type 'long distance granny' into the 'search forums' to the right of your post and you will find them. There are lots of us on GN with grandchildren on the other side of the world and far away, so you are most definitely not alone.

rockgran Mon 30-Mar-15 10:06:57

It is a bit of a grieving process but it gets better. I agree with Coolgran65 about not appearing too needy. Write often but don't always expect a reply. I find Facebook great for posting little snippets to keep you all in the picture without the need for full blown conversations.
Mine live 800O miles away. It was a huge adjustment seeing them only once a year after seeing them several times a month. Hopfully you will see yours more often.
You will feel sad and you should allow yourself that but it will lessen in time.
I hope you enjoy your new home.

AshTree Mon 30-Mar-15 10:28:32

Reading this thread (and others like it) makes me realise just how very lucky we are to be near our children and grandchildren. My son and his wife are only half a mile away and my daughter lives just over two miles away.
Yes it does mean that we are sitting targets for babysitting, often at the last minute when, e.g., my daughter in law is due at a meeting and my son finds he can't get home in time. But rather that than be 100's of miles away.
We moved 300 miles away from my mum when our children were 3 and 4, and now it makes me feel so sad to think of her bravely waving us goodbye. We didn't have Facebook or Skype in those days - we couldn't even afford to have the telephone connected! So I would walk to the phone box once a week and ring her, and we used to send cassette tapes of the children talking and singing and so on. No video clips though, because the cost of camcorders in those days was astronomical (and they were huge pieces of kit!!).
So yes, keeping in touch today is a hundred times better than it was, but it's never the same as being able to pop round for a cuppa and a cuddle with your grandkids, so I really feel for you all.

rockgran Mon 30-Mar-15 11:46:32

Thanks, AshTree - a lot of people complain about Facebook but it has been a Godsend for us. I hate to imagine how I would feel without the internet now. It must have been so hard in the past for parents whose children emigrated.
But you are right - I'd love a proper hug. sad

ffinnochio Mon 30-Mar-15 12:05:29

It does get better, Sema. Lots of ways of staying in touch these days. One thing I've found is to lead as interesting a life as possible so you have lots to do, and importantly, to chat about with your children and grandchildren. They will want to hear what you've been up to, not about being lonely and missing them. Send photos as well.
I know it's important to my sons that they want to keep us in the loop, so to speak, so that as the grandchildren grow up they will know all about us and our lives here. We travel to visit when we can.

Ash Tree - I've never been able to just pop around for a cuppa and cuddle, so it's not something I miss. I appreciate you feel for long-distance grans and thank you, but in my case there's no need. My family are a happy lot, and therefore I'm happy. We're independent of one another yet the love and affection we all have crosses thousands of miles.

AshTree Mon 30-Mar-15 13:02:07

That's a good attitude ffinnochio - and to be truthful I think I'd cope with being further away, it's just never happened! I would worry about leaving my daughter, however, as she is a (soon to be) single mum.

rubysong Mon 30-Mar-15 15:43:20

Lots of good advice here Sema. I am currently in California, visiting from UK and within minutes of arriving it was as if we'd never been away (18 months since our previous visit). We are thankful for Skype, though we don't often get much of a conversation from the DGC (5&2), at least we all see each other. Gransnetters recommended the Book Depository which has books at good prices and no charge for delivery. I have sent several books as gifts using them. Visit as often as you are able.

ffinnochio Mon 30-Mar-15 17:34:51

Ash Tree - Sometimes I think being a long distance gran does have it's advantages. smile
I can understand you wanting to be close to your daughter under the circumstances. Hope all goes well for her.

AshTree Mon 30-Mar-15 17:38:50

Thanks ffinochio.